The Floating Hospital President Sean Granahan and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shani Andre take inventory of a memorable year in which our mission shines brighter than ever.
As the Covid-19 virus continues to rage and change our daily lives and our city, we have been reflecting on 2020 as the year that wasn’t. No movies nor theater; no indoor restaurant dining; no classroom teaching, proms or sports events. It will no doubt go down in both history and popular culture as a defining point in our lives. But, when we think of the highlights of this most unusual year, we are reminded of the year that it was—one in which our unflagging mission marched on, and the spirit of our staff and community would not be defeated by a virus or a shutdown.
Despite the havoc it caused, Covid showed us that, as an organization, there is strength in charity. When our families needed care and basic necessities, our friends, donors and private foundation partners were there with food, clothes, funds and support. Donations of personal protective equipment poured into the clinic from corporations, local politicians and our network of friends. When our staff was exhausted and hungry, the community was there to support them and keep up their spirits. Celebrity chefs such as Maria Loi dropped by with lunch for our staff on days they were too tapped out to nourish themselves.
When a crisis like Covid disrupts the very core of a city, an organization like The Floating Hospital is only as good as its staff. And, The Floating Hospital staff is the best—period. They understood that they were coming to work not just for a paycheck, but to provide care to those who need it. They came without complaint, they came when it was dangerous. They improvised and changed their work practices on a dime to protect and support patients as they came to us and, just as important, to protect each other. As patients were forced to shelter in place, our Good Health Shuttle drivers converted their routes to pick up staff to minimize their exposure commuting on public transportation. Creative thinking, a rapid switch to telehealth, and adapting our procedures to new public-health protocols enabled us to shield our staff and keep the doors open.